Doug's medications had been working quite well together for a while now, but over a coffee a few weeks ago, we talked about how the meds keep him from reaching the lows that occurred but also prevent him from experiencing high emotions as well. There were also an increasing number of inconsistent days where dips would appear. So, he checked in with his doctor who increased the dosage of one medication... but Doug quickly proved to be in the 1-2% of people who suffer from adverse side effects and went downhill. He felt a buzzing or tingling inside his head and became more down than he had before. He couldn't stay at work for a full day, lasting no longer than 1:00pm before leaving for the day.
It was an extremely rough couple of weeks for us.
Last Wednesday, Doug texted me about how he was doing (not good) and I felt like I reached a point where I did not know what to do anymore. I have been praying for and about this for months and that day, I told God "I don't know what to say anymore- I feel done." And my heart broke just a little more for my husband who was struggling emotionally even more than me. On Friday, he went back to the doctor because clearly, this path was not working for any of us. He was given another medication and was told it only takes 2-4 days to begin working and that we should notice a difference quite soon. Because the other medication was still in his system, the weekend was pretty bumpy. We kept busy by painting the interior of our main floor but Doug's energy and focus really suffered. It was finally yesterday that I began to see a change in him. (The first being that he spent the whole day at work compared to the previous week of being unable to do that.)It is hard to put into words of how it felt to know your husband is suffering with extremely sad emotions, tiredness and has a very dull outlook on life. I wanted to be so careful of how I reacted to him, cautious of what I'd say and ensure that the house stayed at a fairly calm level of activity. He was supposed to be my strength and rock - but that was not the case this time. I was continually pulled to Psalm 62:2, 5-8 which reads:
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.
6 He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
God is my refuge. God is my rock. God is my strength. And in Him, I find hope.
Romans 5:3-5 says: 3 "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. "
These verses say that Christians are expected to experience suffering and the response to suffering is to rejoice. How do we do that? By knowing that my faith enables me to know that suffering is productive.
What does suffering produce? Perseverance. A steadiness to hang in there and not falter under pressure. Perseverance produces a character that says "I will not let this destroy me" and I will have the strength to get through it. And character produces hope. Hope that I will share the Glory of God. Christ's image is being produced in me and I am becoming more like Jesus who emulates compassion, love, strength, purity and patience.
God knows what I need - the commitment to hold on when I want to let go, the qualities I need for tomorrows and the certainty of God's promises. He is faithful time and time again. Through all the hills and valleys of this journey of life on earth. He shows me mercy and grace and His love is unfailing.
|Photo by Stephanie|